Museo Bagatti Valsecchi
The former family home of the Bagatti Valsecchi family, who dreamed up the elaborate interiors in the late 1800s to look like a Renaissance palazzo. The totally left-in-place home also houses their impressive collection of ancient art.
Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano
The little sister to much-loved Villa Necchi Campiglio, Casa Boschi di Stefano is the frozen-in-time mid-century apartment of a pair of Milanese art and design collectors, now open as a gallery.
A former Pirelli tire factory has been reimagined into one of the largest private art galleries in Europe. Staging a rotating program of excellent exhibitions in addition to their Anselm Kiefer permanent installation, ‘The Seven Heavenly Palaces’; this place is for contemporary art buffs.
Galleria Massimo De Carlo
A former family home designed by Piero Portaluppi is now the headquarters of Massimo de Carlo gallery, which shows 20th century and contemporary art. Come for the exhibition, stay for the amazing multi-colored marble interiors.
Color is the main character at interior designer Sophie Wannenes Brera-district shop and gallery, where everything from the hand towels to the curtains are available to take home.
Design darlings Quincoces-Dragò are the masterminds behind this Navigli-area gallery, which shows chic mid-century Italian and Scandinavian furniture in a swoon-inducing former monastery.
Contemporary art and photography found their ideal fashion-district home in this three-floor gallery (including roof terrace) just off Montenapoleone. See sister gallery Moshe Tabibnia for the world’s most gorgeous Rennaissance tapestries.
After checking out the impressive and thought-provoking exhibition in the museum’s main space, head upstairs for a light (and arguably pricey) meal in the fabulous new DesignCafé, which makes the entire Triennale experience a whole lot cooler. Or grab a quick but chic aperitivo on the garden terrace, where you can enjoy the view of Giorgio de Chirico’s Bagni Misteriosi, which finally has water in its fountains after 50 years.
Museo Vigna di Leonardo
One of the most prestigious addresses in Milan, the Museo Vigna di Leonardo finally opened to the public this year. This hot spot is where the great master Da Vinci lived while painting The Last Supper and where remnants of his vineyard were recently uncovered. Famed mid-century Milanese architect Piero Portaluppi restored the property in the 19th century, and this year saw the first re-planting of the grape that Leonardo himself used.
Leave it to Mr. Armani to turn a former Nestlé granary into a starkly designed, basilica-inspired space that now houses his fashion archive of over 40 years. Apart from the exhibition area currently showcasing over 300 garments and 200 accessories, the Silos has a digital archive of drawings, sketches and material dedicated to the Maestro of Minimalism, with a bespoke cataloging system.
Good things come to those who wait, and in this case Milan finally has a vast culture compound that puts the city in the global contemporary art big leagues. Expertly exhibited across 17 striking buildings designed by Rem Koolhaas are hundreds of modern and contemporary artworks from Miuccia Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli’s private collection, including Damien Hirst, Louise Bourgeois and Robert Gober and pieces on loan from international art institutions. If wandering around the 19,000 square metres leaves you in need of fuel, enjoy an espresso (or cocktail) and a toasted panino at the Wes Anderson-designed canteen modeled on an old-school Milanese café.
Museo Achille Castiglioni
Design buffs will surely enjoy an insiders visit to the studio of one of Milan’s most important furniture designers of the 20th century. Frozen since his death in 2002, the museum feels cozy and cluttered, just as if a genius was being interrupted mid-work on a masterpiece. Private tours of the space which include viewing sketches, models, prototypes, and personal effects are handled by the late architect’s wife and daughter.
We’re a sucker for a castle, especially the kind that do not require a 45 minute drive out of town. Milan’s Castello Sforzesco is smack in the city center–so obvious that most city visitors overlook it. Once the home to a 15th century Duke, the castle now boasts an enormous and varied collection of booty—art, antiques and objects– from the middle ages through the Renaissance and even a healthy dash of mummies and sarcophagi from ancient Egypt.
Although every fashion editor in the world is overly-acquainted with 1920s home museum (thanks to the movie “I am Love” and Tods’ seasonal fashion presentations), we would feel remiss not to include it. Come see what a quintessential Milanese residence- designed by the quintessential Milanese architect Piero Porta Lupi– looks like in its buttercup yellow flesh. The green veranda room, with its steel sliding doors and glass walled planters, is alone worth the trip.
To ogle the best ceiling frescoes in town, swing into this magnificent 18th century palazzo that sits quietly on a narrow cobble stoned street in the city center. Painted by Tiepolo in 1740, the trompe l’oeil effect of the ceilings are, in two brief words, totally mesmerizing.
Accademia delle Belle Arti di Brera
Milan’s Fine Arts Academy has been holding classes in the same elegant building in Brera since 1776. Though special events and exhibits take place on occasion, it is also worth a mere wander through the arched colonnades and antique sculptures littering this romantic, 240 year old art campus. On your way out, check out the adjacent Botanical Gardens, which sit in the back yard of the Bulgari Hotel (where it might be necessary to stop for an aperol spritz).